My husband has his first shift as a provincial constable today. He spent the better part of the last couple days preparing practically and mentally for his role, as I did for mine.
To be fair, his preparations included things like organizing all the expensive gear he might need to subdue criminals (or bears) and reviewing information he’s learned over the course of his training so he knows what he’s actually allowed to pull people over for (as an example, as frustrating as he finds it, drivers not signalling isn’t actually an offense in many situations).
My preparations, on the other hand, included things like hiding the good snacks for today so that he’d have something nice to find in his lunch, if he even gets the chance to eat it.
From when he clocks in to when he clocks out every shift, he is expected to keep a detailed log of all of his activities. I’m fairly certain he has to include details like his whereabouts and even the weather conditions – anything that could possibly be relevant if and when he’s called to court to stand behind a charge he lays (which would likely happen months if not years later).
As for me? Well, I’m almost eight months pregnant, living in a new town nearly 1,000 kilometres from everything I’ve ever known. No one’s really holding me to any standard right now.
Which is why I had a chocolate bar for breakfast.
Still, I feel like keeping a log for myself might be an interesting exercise – or at least a welcome distraction from looking at the clock, counting down the minutes until he will walk back through that door. (As I write this paragraph, we’re only 48 minutes into his shift, and I’ve already lost track of how many times my eyes have darted to the bottom right corner of my computer screen, wondering what he’s up to now.)
Since – thank goodness – no one is likely to ever hold me accountable for my actions today in a court of law, I’m going to start this log at last night and make entries based on what I feel like including and not every detail of the day.
That means you might be spared specifics of any bathroom visits I may or may not experience. If you’re lucky.
20:05 I start making Mr. B’s lunch. A sandwich is probably ideal, I figure, since it can be eaten on the go, if necessary. But there’s also that container of leftover chicken and rice in the fridge that would probably be very welcome, should he get a few minutes with a microwave. I ponder the conundrum for a few minutes then remind myself that he has a rather large lunch bag (and appetite). Both it is. I open a can of tuna.
20:08 Husband tells me he feels like he’s going to forget something in the morning. I begin making a list of all the things he needs to remember. We get to item number three, and he confesses he has no idea where item number three is. I abandon my lunch preparation station in the kitchen and go to the first place I think of where he may have put it. When looking for things my husband has lost, I have faith in his practicality and go to someplace that makes sense to put it.
I find item number three in under a minute.
20:09 I hand over item number three and discover that husband’s mind is already on a new concern; he needs a haircut. He grabs the electric shaver we bought months ago, thinking it “might come in handy,” and plugs it in for what seems like the zillionth time.
At this point, we’ve already mastered the careful dance that is required of the hair cutter and hair cuttee in the bathroom. Although this is the first haircut in the new house, we manoeuver around each other, the sink, and the toilet automatically – he stands, leans and kneels without me having to ask.
I admire my work. It’s a good haircut.
20:48 After becoming distracted by all the clothes that needed put away in the bedroom, I walk past the kitchen and remember that my husband might like to eat the following day. I resume my sandwich making, surprised that the open can of tuna is still full, considering the two dogs that are constantly on the prowl for any supplementary food they can find.
20:54 I am about to zip up the lunch bag, which now contains both aforementioned main courses as well as a few delicious snacks, when I decide that a supportive note is probably also necessary. I have no idea where the paper is – we still have a lot of boxes left to unpack – so I tear a square off the packing paper that litters every corner of our house. I scribble a quick note for my husband, detailing all of my hopes for his first day on the job – including the hope that someone notices that his wife has written him a note and mocks him for it.
20:58 I tuck the note inside the back, close it up, and put it in the fridge, front and centre, where he surely can’t miss it.
20:59 I head through to the bedroom to finish tidying up, only to find that my husband is already in his pajamas. I guess I should show my support and follow suit.
21:11 I crawl into bed next to Comet, who has somehow again managed to convince my husband that it is good for our marriage to have an 80-lb dog sleep between us every night.
I do my best to snuggle into the other human in the room, and we talk a bit about his hopes for the following day. Despite the remaining daylight still peeking into the room through the blinds – we desperately need to get those curtains up, don’t we? – we agree it’s probably time to sleep. He sets his alarm for a time that makes me shudder, and I ungracefully roll over.
03:24 Upon returning to the bedroom after my third overnight bathroom break, I realize that Comet has claimed my entire side of the bed as his own. I sigh, grab a pillow, and head to the couch.
05:25 The alarm goes off. I shudder again, but get up as a show of support. I even brush my teeth so that I don’t have morning breath when we kiss goodbye later. Somehow, daylight is already rearing its ugly head.
06:12 After my husband has packed up most of his equipment, I notice his health card still sitting on the dining room table. I suggest that he adds it to his wallet – you know, just in case. He agrees, and I immediately regret the recommendation.
06:14 He misses the lunch bag. I take it out of the fridge and hand it off, leaving him with no free hands to open the door. Against my better judgement, I let him out of the house.
06:16 I blow kisses at him as he drives away. I am embarrassed of my actions and decide I need to be publically shamed. I decide to write a blog post.
07:41 I start writing this post.
08:30 I’m finally caught up on detailing my thrilling life up to this point. The dogs have been fed and have both peed and pooped. I still haven’t showered, but that’s okay – no one’s holding me accountable, remember? Plus, I brushed my teeth at 5:30, so I convince myself I’m actually ahead of the “personal hygiene” game today.
08:34 I open up the can of questionably-orange brown paint (called “Burnt Sugar”) to put a second coat on the walls of the bedroom.
11:41 I realize I haven’t thought about Mr. B’s safety in over an hour. I wonder if this makes me a good wife or a bad one.
12:18 I took several breaks due to legitimate exhaustion, and a few snack breaks guised as breaks due to exhaustion, but I’m done painting the master bedroom. It turns out that just about everything is more difficult when you’re nearly eight months pregnant. Before my mother asks, I will falsely assure all readers that all the furniture moved itself and I did absolutely no lifting to accomplish this task.
12:20 After taking a quick whiff of my armpits, I decide the only living beings who will be able to stand my presence in my current odoriferous state will be the dogs. I put on real pants, leash them up, and take them for a walk.
12:?? I think I hear a loon on my walk. I listen really closely in case it happens again. It does. I really think it’s a loon, and I vow to check if that’s even possible when I get home.
12:59 I return from my walk and immediately open my computer to check about the loon. I remember we don’t have the Internet hooked up yet. I’ll have to check later.
13:19 I finally bathe. You’re welcome, world.
15:08 I set myself up at the only Tim Horton’s for at least 100 km to check and send some emails, catch up on social media, and gather some phone numbers to make some VIP (Very Important Phone calls). I realize this will be my only chance today to publish this blog post, so I decide to do exactly that, despite the fact that it has not been a full day of logging my activity.
I’m not really upset by this fact. This has been a pain in the butt. I have decided I don’t like logging everything I do (which, technically, I haven’t done at all), and that I hope this will be the most demanding challenge my husband faces while on the job.
Don’t worry – I’m sure it will be.
15:20 Before hitting the publish button, I do a quick Google search for loon distribution and migration patterns. Good news – I can confidently say I heard a loon today.
Thank goodness I have these detailed notes as proof.